$3M Encore Seed Bundle – TechCrunch
for this week Pitch Deck Teardown I’m (hypothetically) traveling to Sweden to look at the initial $3 million roundup raised by developer tool startup Encore.
The company is creating what it calls a software development platform for the cloud. It was reportedly raised from Crane Venture Partners with Acequia Capital, Essence Venture Capital, and Third Kind Venture Capital joining.
I wanted to take a look at this show in more detail, in particular, because it tells a really neat story in a market where it’s very hard to differentiate yourself – for both your customers and investors!
Putting together a tool developed in a way that tells the story well enough to understand but without going down a rabbit hole is a particularly difficult challenge, this Encore needle threader very efficiently in a 24-slide pitch set.
We’re looking for more unique planner presentation kits to knock down, so if you want to send in your own presentation, here’s how to do it.
Slides in this group
- 1 – sliding cover
- 2 – “We’ve Spent 8 Years Expanding Spotify Premium” – Team Slide
- 3 – “Modern software is richer and more advanced than ever before” – the problem slide
- 4 – “Modern software construction is slow” – the problem segment
- 5 – “Background building looks simple” – problem slide
- 6 – “But there are many” – the problem slice
- 7 – “Encore lets you focus on your product” – Solution Slide
- 8 – “Unlike all other tools, Encore understands your app” – Solution Slide
- 9 – “Unique comprehensive insights to fundamentally improve the development experience” – Value Support Segment
- 10 – “Encore: Software Development Platform for the Cloud” – Product Slide
- 11 – Diagram showing how current solutions are performing – product segment
- 12 – “Order of optimization in size” – product segment
- 13 – “Flexible abstraction level” – product segment
- 14 – “Always work at your perfect level of abstraction” – Product Segment
- 15 – “What’s in the Box” – Product Feature Set Slide
- 16 – “Roadmap” – product roadmap slide
- 17 – “Strong traction” – traction slider
- 18 – sliding graph
- 19 – “User Feedback is Incredibly Positive” – Market Verification Segment
- 20 – Early User Characters – Target Audience Segment
- 21 – “Grow through word of mouth by nurturing a community of builders” – Go-to-Market Slide
- 22 – “Start by charging productivity, add great tools to entire organizations” – Business Model Slide
- 23 – “Sales through organic adoption and bottom-up convergence with direct sales” – Sales strategy segment
- 24- company vision slide
Three things to love
This is a relatively small tour, and Encore is still very early in its journey, and I can 100% understand how it could totally “get away” with some of the things I’m going to throw in this shred. It also tells a really good story in an engaging way – so let’s start with the good!
Easy to understand problem space
Over a number of cutting edge segments (5, 6, 7), the founders are doing a really smooth job of carving out space within a market that has amazing competition right now. By spending a few slides telling the story of how the company is positioning itself in the space, it begins to hint at what the product challenge is. The message of letting the tech team focus on building their product, rather than worrying about what’s going on under the hood, is a compelling proposition for anyone who’s ever had DevOps spoil the product suite.
One quirk here isn’t really serious enough to justify its own item in the “Things we could improve” section: these slides are phrased as if the company is talking to its customers. “We Invited You are Focus” makes sense if you’re talking to a potential sale. Remember, however, that you’re not selling the product to investors – you’re selling stock in your company. The “let developers focus” option will work better and is an opportunity to determine who your target audience is too.
Clear value display
Time is money, and if most startup profits and losses are to be spent, developer time is right there with some of the most expensive time out there.
In slides 11 and 12, Encore explains why its product has such a strong value proposition: By clicking on this slide, it tells the story of how acquiring a product advantage or fixing a bug for a production application suffers from hours of avoidable delay. The subtext is clear: this can be avoided using Encore Tools.
If the company can put the money where it is – that is, if it really reduces deployment time from hours to minutes – and if it can demonstrate a direct link to development efficiency, the value to software companies will be enormous. This is it; Here’s the story – it doesn’t really matter what Encore does, exactly, if it can show that developers save a significant amount of time and can find their way to market, this is a company that could go huge.
Telling the same story in a different way
This slide shows, basically, the same thing as slides 12 and 13 – but it shows it in a way that’s really easy to visualize.
As a company, one way to gain efficiency is to make sure your developers’ attention is focused on the things that really matter, which is something worth repeating across multiple segments.
In the rest of this rip, we’ll look at three things Encore could have improved or done differently. In particular, I’m curious why he’s so focused on his product, when – in my experience – investors generally don’t care as much as you might think. The most intriguing part is how the company operates now (in the form of attracting and creating a repeatable business model) and what you hope to achieve with the money raised in this round. We’ll also be sharing Encore’s full set of presentations so you can see the whole thing in context.
Three things that could be improved
There’s a lot to love about the Encore Collection: It simplifies a complex product story into a few easy-to-understand slides and explains why there’s an opportunity in the market. But if I’m going to invest in this company, I’ll have some questions right away. Let’s take a closer look at what raises the red flags: